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Storm surge damage at Ponte Vedra Florida from Hurricane Irma. Photo by Daniel Smith, Cyclone Testing Station.
Storm surge damage at Ponte Vedra Florida from Hurricane Irma. Photo by Daniel Smith, Cyclone Testing Station.
Release date
20 Sep 2017
More information:
Dr Daniel Smith
Researcher

International team investigates Hurricane Irma

Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC researcher Dr Daniel Smith is part of an international team assessing the impacts from Hurricane Irma in Florida.

Dr Smith, from the Cyclone Testing Station at James Cook University, experienced Irma from Port Saint Lucie on Florida's south east coast, before undertaking damage assessments with colleagues from the University of Florida and Auburn University. The team visited Naples and Marco Island, near where Irma made landfall in south west Florida, looking at roofing failures. Investigations were also conducted in north east Florida, at St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra, which experienced significant storm surge damage and a tornado. Dr Smith reports that the damage and debris fields from the tornado were much more chaotic than the hurricane wind-related damages. Understanding the difference between hurricane (cyclone) and tornado wind fields and damage patterns is important as it will help in modelling differences in building performance for both natural hazards. This informs how tornado and hurricanes/cyclones are considered differently in building codes.  

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